Salt Lake’s DJ Bell Acquitted of Kidnapping. So He Got Beat Up For Nothing?


Jurors wanted to know why Salt Lake taxpayers are on the hook for a $100,000 trial for David James “DJ” Bell, who, along with his partner, stood accused of kidnapping his neighbor’s two toddlers in July 2008. It was only one month later that prosecutors were citing a lack of evidence in the case, and instead turning their attention to the attack on Bell from that same neighbor. But they brought charges anyhow. Except: After a four-day trial and just three hours of deliberation, the eight-person jury acquitted Bell on all counts.

“Bell, 31, was accused of taking two children, ages 2 and 4, from the home of his next-door neighbor — where a loud drinking party had been going all night — to his home on the morning of July 4, 2008. But defense attorney Susanne Gustin said the wrong person was put on trial. The defense team has long maintained that relatives of the two children, who severely beat Bell and his gay partner, Daniel Fair, should be prosecuted for burglary and assault.” So now that they’re off the hook for kidnapping? “The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office had previously declined to file charges against Bell’s attackers.”

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  • Mike L.

    I would feel bad for those two kids two, I would’ve call Child Services when considering the circumstance.

    I believe that the parents of those kids would’ve been less likely to bring kidnapping charges if Bell had been straight and had a wife and not a male partner. Methinks

  • scott ny'er

    should’ve left the 2 children alone. But, i give ’em props for trying to do the right thing.

  • AlanInSLC

    As someone who knows DJ Bell personally, he wouldn’t have ever taken the children in on his own. Maybe allowed them to come inside since it was about 6:00 am in the morning and shouldn’t have been outside in the first place. The children woke up to drunk parents partying and they wandered next door. They knew DJ and came to his home on their own. It wasn’t until after a while that the kids parents realized, in their drunken stuper, that their kids were gone. So naturally the went to DJ’s home (they knew their kids liked them before this evening) after the kids were gone for not very long and saw they were inside. They then ended up breaking in their home and BEAT THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF BOTH DJ AND HIS PARTNER. It took over an hour for the neighbors who accused DJ of kidnapping to even call the cops to report anything. DJ and his partner couldn’t do anything since they were hurt so badly. In other words, it took them (the attackers/neighbors/kids parents) an hour of being drunk to make up the story to cover their asses for beating them senseless.

    I was so happy to hear that DJ was able to be acquitted on all charges. This has completely fucked with his life and will be YEARS before he will be comfortable in his own home and own skin do to homophobic actions from those kids drunken family. Sad part is now the family is claiming racism against the jury.


  • Mike

    This is why, when in the UK we see people saying “but why didn’t anyone else do something” ?

    The fact is that most people are scared senseless of being arrested and put on trial for just offering a lift or trying to help a kid find his parents.

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